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State of the Milk

Graph showing little change in rates of any breastfeeding and exclusive breastfeeding from 2012 to 2019
Breastfeeding Among US Children Data from CDC National Immunization Survey

Looking at data from the CDC on breastfeeding rates in the US from 2012-2019, I notice...not a whole lot. There has been virtually no movement for any of the measures, whether it's percentage receiving any breastfeeding ever or exclusive breastfeeding at 6 months and 1 year. These curves are flatter than the pesky flat nipples some of us moms had to coerce into peaks during those early days of feeding.

What does that mean? I don't know. I suppose if there have been large-scale interventions to improve breastfeeding rates, they...didn't work. There is a HUGE, gaping opportunity to make improvements. The challenges for moms to breastfeed as long as they would like to are multi-pronged and some are systemic---including lack of insurance-covered education and support, inadequate paid parental leave, and unfriendly workplace pumping situations.



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